RIM CEO talks BlackBerry 10 at Q&A session, confirms 4G PlayBook is coming

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: May 2, 2012

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins

Today is the second day of RIM's BlackBerry World event in Orlando, and this morning RIM CEO Thorsten Heins hosted a Q&A session during which he talked about BlackBerry 10 and a new version of the PlayBook. First up, Heins discussed RIM's work on its new BlackBerry 10 platform that it briefly demoed yesterday. "We're nearing completion," Heins said, adding that he wants the BB10 experience to be "perfect" and that he wants "to wow people" with the OS. The exec also reiterated that RIM intends to launch BlackBerry 10 this year, but didn't offer a more concrete timeframe.

Another topic that came up during Heins's conversation is physical keyboards. Yesterday we learned that while RIM highlighted BlackBerry 10's software keyboard during the BlackBerry World keynote, the company also plans to also offer BB10 devices with physical QWERTYs. Heins reaffirmed that statement, saying that RIM knows what it's good at and that the company wants to continue to deliver the hardware keyboard experience that people enjoy.

Finally, Heins talked a bit about RIM's current BlackBerry devices and a new product that it's got in the pipeline. The CEO confirmed that existing BlackBerry 7 devices will not be upgradable to BlackBerry 10, which isn't a total shock but is also still kind of a disappointment to some. Heins also had some good news to share, though, revealing that RIM plans to launch a 4G-enabled BlackBerry PlayBook later this year. No other details on the device were mentioned. 

RIM has been talking about 4G PlayBooks for some time now, but so far we've yet to actually see such a product actually materialize on shelves. While we still don't have specifics on the 4G PlayBook, like which carrier(s) it'll be heading to or when it'll be launching, it's good to hear that we may finally soon see the device make its way to market. As for the news about BlackBerry 7 devices, it's a bummer that those devices won't be bumped up to RIM's shiny new platform, but one has to imagine that RIM will continue to support BB7 devices for some time after BB10's arrival. So now that BlackBerry World is well underway and we're knee-deep in BlackBerry 10 news, what do you all make of the platform so far? Think RIM's new platform will end up wowing users when it launches later this year?